Christian Benteke’s winning goal against Chelsea yesterday incorporated supreme technical skill and outrageous audacity. I’ve already watched it at least 50 times and now you can too.
Question marks had been raised over the form of the big Belgian striker in the weeks prior to the recent international break after one or two easy chances were missed in our 1-0 home win over Watford but having grabbed a brace against Russia for his country last week, Christian was clearly feeling back to his best at Stamford Bridge yesterday afternoon, stealing Thibaut Courtois’ soul when dinking the ball over him to give the Eagles the lead.
Whilst no Palace fan has ever questioned the quality Benteke possesses, both he and his manager admitted in the build-up to Chelsea that his form in front of goal hasn’t been what it should in recent months. As we know though, football and more specifically goalscoring revolves hugely around confidence, which the former Liverpool man appears to have rediscovered over the last seven days.
In truth, the opening 11 minutes of the game are somewhat of a blur for me now. Having been stood right next to Chelsea’s home supporters, the whirlwind that saw Fabregas, Zaha and Benteke score within six minutes of one another made my brain feel as though it was being put on a spin cycle by a particularly violent washing machine but looking back at the footage in the cold light of day, the composure shown by Benteke in front of goal really is something special.
He and Zaha have clearly developed a close bond both on and off the field, with the team reaping the rewards from it against the Champions in waiting yesterday. Whilst we must all give huge credit to the rest of the rest of the side for their hurculean efforts in keeping the hosts at bay all game long, it will be the aforementioned duo who grab the headlines.
That finish is what you pay the big money for. Enjoy.